In 1917 after 300 years of ruling Russia, the Romanov dynasty was toppled by the appetite for change. I believe that the First World War was responsible for the downfall of the Romanovs. The main difference between the 1905 ‘revolution’ and the 1917 revolutions was that the army sided with the revolutionaries in 1917. This being the key reason as to why Autocracy fell. When Russia entered World War 1 in 1914 to when they left in 1917, they suffered numerous military defeats.
However, the First World War changed all this. Russia was known throughout Europe as being a ‘backwards’ country that desperately needed to industrialise. Russia’s lack of modernisation meant that their transportation systems were extremely underdeveloped, and thus getting equipment to the Front proved to be a great challenge indeed. This resulted in many shortages; for instance, in 1915, some Russian artillery units were limited to firing three shells per day. This, in turn, caused a significant number of casualties and deaths, and by the end of 1915, two million men had been wounded or taken prisoner.
Loyal army has been replaced with around 15 million peasants, the army had sympathised with workers and themselves along with the navy began mutiny against a government they had no wish to fight and die for with the Bolsheviks rioting. In addition, the peasants could not plough, sow or bring harvest as the young men were of fighting in the war. And they were still heavily in debt after the freeing of the serfs – they had to buy their freedom over Fifty years, and many were still serfs. The situation in the countryside caused problems in the cities, because of lack of harvest they were starving, and in the army the peasants in uniform wanted to go back to
The prices had risen so much that transport was limited, so not much food could reach Petrograd before it was rotting. The Russians were furious losing the support for their leader. Nicholas was appointed after his father died to be the autocratic ruler of Russia. Nicholas by this time of the late 19th Century when he came into power should’ve realized that he
The Tsar was inexperienced and unprepared when he was anointed to the throne due to his father’s sudden death, his poor leadership skills were tested in the early 1900’s when poor harvests, intensified poverty, poor living conditions and an embarrassing defeat in war with Japan in 1904 resulted in Bloody Sunday in 1905, this is where Russian peasants wanted civil liberties, better working conditions and poverty alleviated by introducing income tax. When the 150, 000 civilians marched to meet the Tsar and reason with him, the soldiers fired upon them-the march was misinterpreted as an act of evil and a rebellion against the Tsar. Nicholas had a determination to always rule under an autocracy, he was intransigent and was fixed to the same beliefs, it was his reluctance to change that lead to Bloody Sunday. The Tsar was heavily influenced by a man named Rasputin, who was brought in as a ‘staretz’ or a holy man in order to help the Tsar’s only son, Alexis, who suffered from hemophilia. Rasputin and Tsarina Alexandra became quite close, and as Rasputin began to
More over, the tsar was out of touch with his people and the changes that were occurring through out the empire. The First World War acted as a catalyst and a cause for social change and revolution because Russia’s many underlying military, economic, social and political problems were brutally exposed and meant it was unable to cope with the enormous challenges posed by the War. The lack of proper military administration and war readiness led to massive military defeats, low morale and a subsequent loss of confidence in the Tsar. While the Russians had the largest military force in Europe during the war, they were predominantly peasants who were not prepared for war As the historian D. Thompson said “Russian soldiers were ill-clothed and ill-trained, and always under-equipped”(D.Thomson, 1957, p.564), with up to 25% of Russian soldiers sent unarmed to the front unarmed. The soldiers also had to fight in atrocious, unsanitary conditions.
To what extent did WWI contribute to a revolutionary situation in Russia by 1917? Culminating in 1917, the revolutionary situation in Russia can be linked to the state of unrest caused by World War One to a large extent. World War One was to have a devastating impact on Russia. When World War One started in August 1914, Russia responded by patriotically rallying around Nicholas the Second, but the fact that Russia was defeated by Japan leading up to the first world war, in which 3.3 million Russians were killed, and that his wife, Alexandra, was German, caused dissatisfaction to a great extent. The growing influence of Gregory Rasputin over the Romanov’s did a great deal to damage the royal family and by the end of the spring of 1917.
The war caused a great deal of problems for the government, originally they had announced that their involvement would be entirely defensive but were pressured into an offensive battle by the Allies. This greatly angered the already the de-moralised soldiers, due to conscription the army was made up of mainly peasants who weren’t trained to fight and wanted to return home and gain more land for themselves. The June Offensive, which was put in place with the hope that a victory would strengthen moral, did the exact opposite. Far from strengthening Russian army morale, this offensive proved that Russian army morale no longer existed. No Russian general could now count on the soldiers under his command actually doing what they had been ordered to do.
The decline in Russia’s war performance caused morale in the army as well as in the country to also decrease. However, this in itself was not enough to cause the Tsarist regime to fall. The situation of war was made worse by the fact that in September 1915 after the Russians lost Poland; the Tsar took personal control of the army and dismissed this Uncle Nikolai. As a result, poor military performance could be blamed directly on the Tsar himself. This in turn caused his support to wither and his opponents to build up in number.
Juan Carlos Santana Alemán Estudios sobre Estados Unidos World War 1 Began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918 World War I marked the end of the old order in Europe. For the United States, it marked the beginning of the American Century, in the biggest and most costly war in European history to that date. President Woodrow Wilson took America to war only months after winning an election, ." Claiming that American intervention was needed to "make the world safe for democracy," Wilson sent over two million men to Europe, of whom over 100,000 would never return. World War I marked the end of the old order in Europe, and the beginning of what has been called the "American Century."